The Michigan Economic Development Association recently awarded Ann Arbor SPARK for its integrated marketing efforts. Ann Arbor SPARK was honored for its effective marketing communications strategy that includes integrating messaging and branding across its website, social media, digital media, annual report, and public relations.
“Executing an efficient, effective marketing plan that spreads the word about the Ann Arbor region and attracts the attention of business owners, job seekers and investors is an important part of Ann Arbor SPARK’s mission,” said Donna Doleman, Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president, operations and communications. “Ann Arbor SPARK’s integrated marketing approach – for example, using social media to support public relations, and video to support web communications – helps us extend our efforts as far as possible. We know what we’re doing is working: Companies and individuals are choosing this region over other destinations, and we’re achieving economic growth as a result. Still, it’s incredibly gratifying to be recognized by our industry peers for achieving excellence in our marketing efforts.”
Each year, MEDA sponsors a competition of local economic development marketing strategies to provide an opportunity for Michigan’s economic development organizations to have professional marketing firms independently review their marketing strategies and give MEDA members a chance to review materials from other practitioners around the state.
For the MEDA award, Ann Arbor SPARK competed against other economic development organizations in the state serving the population of 500,001 and above. Ann Arbor SPARK was evaluated against competitors using industry standard metrics and measurements, and also received written feedback from a panel of marketing experts.
Ann Arbor SPARK was commended for achieving strong results across all of the criteria that the judges used in evaluating award applications. The judges specifically praised SPARK’s use of new media, saying, “You’re doing all the important things right including trying new things like podcasts more tailored to users on the go.”
Ann Arbor SPARK previously won MEDA awards for marketing in 2013 and 2012.
MEDA, founded in 1960, exists to advance economic development throughout Michigan, and increase the individual member’s effectiveness in the economic development profession. The association’s goal is to provide a variety of services and programs that will enhance ability and skills in economic development. Through education, legislative updates, public relations and networking, MEDA makes it possible for economic development professionals statewide to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.